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During my stay at Valencia, I was der on a little consideration, that a decourted and feasted by every body, and bate in a popular assembly must, from sold my goods at an enormous price; its very nature, afford the orator his for every one thought that to possess widest and most eligible feld. With any thing that had belonged to me must this theatre for eloquence, however, bring them good fortune. I received it is not our intention now to concern many handsome presents, had divers ourselves, or occupy our readers; but requests to hecome a member of the we proceed to institute a comparison different fraternities of monks, and between forensic and pulpit eloquence. eventually quitt the town with a large It has long been a famous and consum of money, with which I proceeded tested question, which of these claims to Toulon, with the intention of making the greater merit; and that we may assoine inquiry after my dear Cerise, certain this point methodically, perhaps whose image was still the object of my it will be better to define in the first dreams, as well as of my waking place what eloquence is :-Eloquence, thoughts.
Metrop. Mag. then, is the art of persuasion; it is to
be distinguished from that species of
oratory, which attempts conviction TO EMMA.
merely, by the aid of logic; this apFor the Olio.
peals only to the understanding, and
the adversaries it professes to combat, I love thee, I have loved thee long, That I do love is past concealing :
are doubtfulness and mistake. EloBut can the verses of my song,
quence appeals rather to the feelings, Describe the pure-the hallowed feeling!
and it is that especial gift of the mind, Or paint the form so faultless fair, Enflamed my soul when first I saw thee,
by which we become masters of the Or thy mind's worth, that made me swear heart, as well as understanding of To love thee ever--to adore thee!
others, and are thus enabled to infiuThe miner, who 'mid ocean's roar,
ence them to our purposes. True it To gain the pearl each nerve is straining, is, that conviction is one avenue to the Feels he's repaid, his labour o'er, In the rich prize his toil is gaining ;
heart, and that we must convince beThus 'gainst the troubles of this earth, fore we can persuade; and yet con
I'd strive with joyous gladness for thee, viction and persuasion are not only As bappy to possess thy worth,
terms of very different import, but they I'd love thee ever-I'd adore thee.
produce different effects; a man may be Around the oak in summer's pride,
convinced it is his duty, but not preThe ivy clings, its homage paying; In winter still 'tis by its side,
vailed upon to do it. This is well ilNor leaves it yet, tho' fast decaying; lustrated by the poet: And thus, in poverty or wealth, If weal or woe is hanging o'er thee;
• Video meliora, proboque ; deteriora sequor.' In pale decay and rosy health,
So also St. Augustine says, “Non perI'll love thee ever-I'll adore thee.
suadebis, etiamsi persuaseris ;” the import of which plainly is, “Though your
arguments may convince my reason, BAR AND PULPIT ELOQUENCE. they shall not determine my resolution.” For the Olio.
Having thus settled what eloquence
means, it may be seen at a glance that The eloquence of modern times may the pleader has in reality little or no be considered under three distinct opportunity for its exercise; convicheads, or rather, the forms under tion is his great object, and it is not his which the art may be exercised, are business to persuade his hearers to what three, for eloquence must ever be in it- he may consider advisable, but only to self a simple excellence. The bar, the point out to them what is true; beyond pulpit, and the senate, can all afford an attempt to convince he is not perscope for the display of this talent; mitted to go, and any appeal to the but still they do so, only in the degree feelings of the judge or judges would be that each particular sphere of action both useless and absurd; passion morecan afford room for its exercise. Thus over is not roused so easily, for the the senate affords the orator many great speaker is not merely heard more cooladvantages that the other fields for ly, but he is watched more narrowly, action are in want of, and at the same and he would be only exposing himself time it claims most of the privileges were he for a moment to attempt that peculiar to them. It is, however, ad- eloquent and impassioned tone, which mitted on all hands; and, perhaps, it is only suited io a mixed assembly. will be sufficiently obvious to the rea- On the other hand, the preacher's ap
propriate and peculiar business is to man for a speaker, unless he has a fund make this appeal to passion, and to of good common sense, and that every, persuade his hearers to act conform- day knowledge which the generality of ably to truth; persuasion must ever be hearers can appreciate and be interesthis ultimate object, and all his instruc- ed with. In short the orator must be tions it must be remembered, are to be natural as well as artificial, and he of the practical kind, for he does not must be careful to deliver what he has ascend the pulpit to unravel some ab- to say in the most unaffected manner, struse argument, but with a view of for of all the vices injurious to elomaking his hearers better men. The quence, affectation is the worst. We eloquence of the pulpit then is popular have the authority of the great master eloquence, and it must be brought home of eloquence for saying this, for he tells to every man's heart; to this end he is us expressly that “eloquence consists at liberty to make use of all the engage in the most obvious principles, and in a ing maneuvres of oratory he can put knowledge of common life, and the haforth, and indeed his subject is such bits and conversation of mankind. In that it admits of the highest embellish- other arts, he who excels is the man ment in describing, as well as of the who strikes deepest into a road, the greatest warmth in enforcing it. The most distant from the knowledge, and very strength of eloquence lies, as the the most impervious to the capacity, of great master of it has told us, in this the ignorant; whereas in eloquence, excitement of the feelings; "for who the most dreadful blunder that can be does not know," says Cicero, “ that the committed, is to deviate into abstruse great power of eloquence consists in expressions, and out of the beaten track awakening the soul to anger, to grief, of common sense. (Cicero de Ora to hatred ; or to recall her from these tore.) Now we may reasonably ask, affections, to gentleness and pity.” It do the dry abstract questions of law may be remarked here by the way, that come within this description? Are this great orator employed in his plead- they interesting, are they (in the abings all the arts of popular eloquence; sence of all study) even intelligible the customs of the day allowed and ap to the general ear? We know on the proved it, and indeed occasionally most contrary that this field of oratory is both extraordinary and even theatrical ap- complicated and confined, that the imapeals were made to the feelings of the gination of the speaker is fettered down judges; thus in his treatise “ De Ora- by the very nature of his thesis, and tore,” we find the same orator exclaim- that the statute-book is the rampart, being in raptures of that pleader who pro- yond which he must not pass ! But duced an aged general before the court, consider the pulpit on this head; the and pointed out to the judges the scars subject matter of the preacher is noble upon his body! In short, with the indeed, but at the same time it is suffi ancients, eloquence, rather than juris ciently common, and it is intelligible as prudence, was the study of a pleader, well as dignified; for the topics of his and strict law was so much less an obó discourse are subjects upon which his ject of attention than it is at present, audience must have often thought, and that a term of three months was consi- in which, at all events, they are equally dered sufficient to qualify a man to be interested with himself. come a civilian ; with us on the con But the last and grand distinguishing trary, the same number of years scarcely feature of eloquence, that in fact which suffice. The barrister's reputation makes it eloquence, is sincerity in the must be laid solely in a profound know- speaker ; for to become a persuasive oraledge of his profession, as we have be- tor it seems to have been a first principle fore had occasion to remark; and with all who have handled the subject, should that knowledge be but superfi- that a man must firmly believe both the cial, he will be neglected, though his truth and importance of whatever he abilities as a speaker be ever so emi- would inculcate'on others; he must nent; to know what is law, and speak speak the language of his own convicto the point, is the only rhetoric ap- tion, and utter only his real sentiments; proved or indeed suffered in a modern for never can a man be eloquent, but law-court.
when he is thus in earnest, and his The second distinguishing property simplest auditor would be able to disof eloquence is, that its foundation tinguish counterfeit warmth from gemust be good sense; natural abilities nuine emotion. That all high elodo indeed require art to perfect an ora quence must be the offspring of real tor, but no art whatever can qualify a unaffected passion was the favourite
maxim of Demosthenes, for he advises eminence, not soliciting but commandthat “the principal aim of a good orator ing attention; not discoursing as man should be, to appear to his audience the to man, but delivering a divine mesvery man he wishes they should take sage! It may be inquired here, “ How him for. It would be needless to in- is it then that sermons produce so little quire whether the pleader can stand in effect ?" We reply that their want of such a situation as this ; it is percepti- effect must be attributed not to the ble in a moment that he never can, for speaker but to the hearer! and it is lathe reader must be aware that one half mentable enough that the same speaker of our lawyers plead on the bad side of who is heard with indifference from the a cause, and on that side which, from pulpit, might be listened to with entheir acknowledged acuteness, they thusiasm from the hustings. The reamust generally know to be the bad one. son of this is obvious; that excitement As to sincerity in a pleader, there can is wanting to a religious discourse, be nothing but the semblance of it; for which is easily created by a present insincerity can scarcely be felt by men, terest, and such is the grovelling nature who hurry from cause to cause, and are of man, that he is ever disposed to feel eternally occupied in transacting the more strongly those appeals, which are affairs of utter strangers.
made to him on matters before his eyes, But as to sincerity in the preacher, than those which refer to the period its existence there is clearly more pro- when “ Time shall be no more!” bable, for not only his worldly but his In conclusion, we cannot but assign, future interest is concerned ; and though the palm of real eloquence to the pulwe may occasionally see an absence of it, pit, and as to forensic eloquence, there charity would incline us to believe that seems to us a sort of antethesis in the for the most part it is not only apparent very words: there have been indeed but felt; and that in all ages of the illustrious men who have flourished at church, the general habit of our clergy the British bar, and eloquence of the have been consonant with their max- richest vein is to be found in the pleadims, and illustrative of their profes- ings of a Curran. This great man, sions.
however, it should be remembered, It cannot be denied for a moment trespassed on forbidden ground; he that the pulpit confers great and exclu- travelled boldly, but without sanction, sive privileges, and that where success out of the beaten track of bis predecesis wanting the preacher turns very pe- sors and his cotemporaries, and culiar advantages to a very moderate candour will not allow us to consider account, His audience have assem- such eloquence as his, as a specimen of bled before him purposely to be address- the ordinary speechifying of a modern ed on the truths of a religion, sublime lawyer! beyond all the speculations of philoso Any encomium on the oratorical prophers yet in all its most important points ductions of our well known and emisimple, and of the easiest apprehen- nent divines would be both officious sion ; in short, the most elevating, the and superfluous, but we cannot but most touching, the most interesting of feel proud in closing this short essay, all topics is to be the subject matter of in directing attention to the writings of his address, and this address is to be a Hooker, or the unrivalled, faultless directed to persons sufficiently versed eloquencc of a Jeremy Taylor! F. in them and assembled solely from the desire they feel to hear them handled. Independant, however, of his subject, CHARACTER OF SHERIDAN. the preacher has advantages of a kind not enjoyed by the pleader: he speaks The source of Sheridan's misfortunes with the most complete preparation; was ambition, or an insatiable appetite he is obliged to no replies or extempo- for display. At the outset of his caraneous efforts; he speaks in the most reer, he adopted a style of living, the profound silence, secure from all intere expenses of which far exceeded his liruption and without the slightest con mited means; and he plunged headtention to ruffle him, or distract his long into debt, to keep up an appearaudience; he chooses his theme at lei- ance equal to that of his opulent assosure, and he comes before the public ciates. His pride, and increasing with all that assistance which the pages desire to shine in superior society, of divinity can afford, and which the prevented him from attempting to remost accurate preineditation can give; trieve his independence, by abandoning above all, he speaks as from a lofty the course which he had thus rashly
adopted; had he done so, when he be Amid the struggles of party, and all gan to discover its manifofd inconve- the feverish, but to him, delectable exniences, bis future progress in life would citements of political life, the drama perhaps, have been more happy and still possessed some of its original fasmore honourable, but, in all probabi- cination. He shamefully neglected, lity, much less brilliant; for the same but would not, until absolutely comvice which ultimately led to his ruin, pelled by circumstances, altogether was also the cause of his celebrity. His abandon bis theatrical pursuits, incomruling passion frompted him, by dint patible as they were with his political of intense application, to aim at achie- avocations. His finances were suffered ving extraordinary reputation to fall into ruinous confusion; while, dramatist ; he succeeded, but was not in return for the devotion of his talents satisfied. The supreme controul of one and time to public affairs, he obtained of the great theatres then became the little but fame ; his party, though able pinnacle of his aspiring views: by some and energetic, having but rarely and miraculous means he attained it; but, briefly enjoyed the sweets of office. His cloyed with possession, and eager to debts rapidly accumulated; his inteldistinguish himself in a more important lectual powers gradually diminished slation, he forned expensive political and the more nearly he approached toconnexions, with the view of obtaining wards po jerty, the more grossly did he a seat in parliament. His wish was abandon himself to sensual indulgences. again gratified : he became a member of In the course of his career, he had made. the House of Commons; and, at length, numerous enemies, many admirers, but one of the leaders of his party. But few friends; and, at length, he found his success as an orator tended to ac- hiinself, not only destitute of health, celerate his ruin. To maintain his but,-partly, it must be confessed, by political eminence, he devoted his al calamity, but principally through his tention to public affairs; his private own imprudence, Çof credit, influence, concerns were consequently neglected. reputation, and alınost the means of The emoluments which he might, per existence. haps, have acquired, by a sedulous Although patriotism, as a public chaattention to his business, as a stage- racter, may be no atonement for the inproprietor, were considered as dust in juries he inflicted on many of his fellow the balance, against the congenial countrymen, by his reckless profligacy society, the entertainment, and flattering as an individual, it is due to his repuapplause, which he met with in par- tation to state, that he was, eminently, liament. Intoxicated by his reputation to the best of his judgment, the friend for eloquence, he beheld, with indiffer- of his country. His conduct in parliaence, his respectability vanish, his pe ment appears to have been, invariably, cuniary resources diminish, and his conscientious. Few politicians have liabilities enormously increase. Privi- been assailed by stronger temptations ; leged from arrest, and gifted with an yet it has been justly said of him, that extraordinary power of appeasing the he never would sacrifice his principles most clamorous creditor, debt, in his to his pocket, and that when most emopinion, appeared to be no disgrace, barrassed he was most incorruptible. and scarcely an inconvenience. He At a period, fertile beyond precedent, frequently so infatuated his victims, in eloquence, he rivalled as an orator, that, many who called upon him for the most exalted of his cotemporaries. payment, were cajoled to lend him more His figure was manly; his contenance money, or furnish him with more goods. expressive; and his voice singularly Selfishness was a predominant quality flexible, rich, and sonorous. His style in his character. With an apathy, was generally pure; his sentiments evincing a lamentable want of princi- liberal; and his embellishments exple, he borrowed and squandered away quisite. Georgian Era, Vol. 1. what he had no prospect of repaying ; and thus reduced to beggary, several who had the strongest claiins on his gra
AMERICAN ASSIZES. titude. Although affected even to the shedding of tears, at the profanation of The first matter that occupied the athis person by the touch of a bailiff, hetention of the court was the marshalappears to have been contemptibly cal- ling of the grand jury, to whom the lous to the distresses of those on whom usual charge was delivered. This he had entailed misery, and, in some office was assigned by the court to one cases, absolute want, by his careless of the members of the bar, a young ness and extravagance.
practitioner, who did not fail to embel were red, and his face inflamed. His lish the summary of duties, which he frame had all the morning languor of a unfolded to their view, with a plenti- sedulous night-watcher; and, altogeful garniture of rhetoric. Notwithstand- ther, Toll did not appear to be in the ing the portentous exaggeration of the best condition to try his case. Howsolemnity of the occasion, and the mul- ever, he had now taken his seat at the titudinous grave topics which were bar; and close beside him sat his urged upon the grand inquest, it seems client, Jemmy Smith, an indescribably that this quintessence of the freehold swaggering, saucy blade, who had the dignity was sadly puzzled to find em irreverence to come into court without ployment in any degree commensurate coat or waistcoat, and to shew a wild, with the exaltedness of its function. It grinning, disorderly countenance to is said that the jurors revolved in their his peers. Whilst the gentleman who minds the whole list of national griev- conducted the case for the common
One party suggested the idea wealth was giving a narrative of Jemof presenting the established mode of my's delinquencies to the jury, and electing the president of the United was viluperating that worthy's characStates as a grievance to the good people ter in good set terms, Toll was, to all of the country; another thought of a appearance, asleep upon his folded formal denunciation of the tariff ; a few arms, resting upon the desk before advocated an assault upon the supreme him. When the charge was fairly excourt; but all were happily brought plained, one witness was called to supinto a harmonious concurrence in the port it. This individual was pretty design of presenting a mad-cap raga- much such a looking person as Jemmy muffin, by the name of Jemmy Smith, himself. He was rather downfaced for disturbing the peace of a camp and confused in his demeanour before meeting, by drinking whiskey, and the court, and particularly shabby in breeding a riot, within the confines of his exterior; but he told a plain the conventicle. Accordingly, after an straightforward story enough, in the hour's deliberation upon these various main, and his evidence went the full suggestions, they returned to the court length of all the traverser's imputed room with a solitary bill, made out in enormities. The truth was, Jemmy had due form, against Jeminy; and this certainly broke into the camp, and matter constituting the sum total of played some strange antics, considering their business for the term, they were the sanctity of the place. But during thereupon discharged, with the thanks all this time, Taliaferro Hedges, Esq. of the court for the able and vigilant maintained his recumbent position, exadministration of their inquisitorial cept now and then, when Jemmy, feelduties. Jemmy Smith had anticipated ing himself pinched by the testimony, this act of authority, and was now in would recline his head to whisper in court, ready to stand his trial. He his counsel's ear, which act would had already selected his counselma rouse him enough to bring upon Jemmy flowery and energetic advocate, whose a rebuke, that was generally conveyed strength lay, according to the popular by pushing him off, and an injunction opinion, in his skill in managing a to be quiet. At length the whole story jury. The name of this defender of was told, and bad enough it looked for Jeremy's fame was Taliaferro (pro- Jemmy! The attorney for the commonnounced Tolliver) or, as it was called wealth now informed Mr. Hedges that for shortness, Toll Hedges, Esq.; a the witness was at his disposal. At this gentleman whose pantaloons were too Toll completely roused himself, and short for him, and whose bare legs sitting bolt upright, directed a sharp were, consequently, visible above his and peremptory catechism to the witstockings. Toll's figure, however, was ness, in which he required him to readorned with a bran-new blue coat, of peat the particulars he had before dethe most conceited fashion, which, ne tailed. There was something bullying vertheless, gave some indications of in the manner of the counsel that quite having been recently slept in, as it was intimidated the witness, and the poor plentifully supplied with down from a fellow made some sad equivocations.feather-bed. He was conspicuous also At last, said Toll, after admonishing for an old straw hat, that had been the witness in a very formal manner, fretted at the rim by a careless habit in that he was upon his oath, and explainhandling it. This learned counsel had ing to him the solemnity of his obligaapparently been keeping his vigils too tion to speak the truth_“I will ask strictly the night before, for his eyes you one question— answer it catego